Russ Calver: Port Staff and Operations Worker, Thurrock

Hi, I’m Russ,

When you work at the Port of Tilbury, no two days are ever the same. I currently manage the cruise terminal and operations, as well as the off-dock container storage yard. The most inspiring part about my role is the team ethos as it is reminiscent of a large family – it makes the Port of Tilbury work. Everyone tries their utmost to offer a hand when the chips are down, and this is all due to the focused network of supportive staff.

The port covers a large area, which was instantly affected when the Coronavirus pandemic hit, especially the cruise vessel operation. What was planned to be a thriving initiative, quickly turned into a large-scale ship park where cruise vessels became part of the local horizon; almost floating monuments to an industry brought down to its knees. For 12-months, it looked as though the world as we knew it had changed forever. However, the tide changed and things began to look up when new COVID measures were put into place, and this allowed us to redefine ways of operating that encouraged new ideas and workflows to develop.

From working with many different departments to rally together to berth several cruise ships at the same time and ensuring that ships were kept supplied, to organising and managing 4,500 units of PPE stored over five locations and ensuring that the port continued its day-to-day operations, the pandemic has taught me a lot.  I have a motivational mantra that I live by – ‘head down, plug on, it can’t get any worse’, and if all else fails, take up golf!

The Queen is a true inspiration and one that I will take forward following the pandemic, she inspires me to better myself.  She continued to lead the way throughout, advocating what we as a nation should be doing – God Save the Queen!

The Port of Tilbury’s history on show. Photo: Katie Beadle

Russ at the Port of Tilbury. Photo: Katie Beadle

Russ’s key worker scroll (3rd from the left). Photo: Ali Pretty

Russ’s key worker scroll almost finished. Photo: Ali Pretty

Russ’s key worker scroll. Photo: Kristian Buus

We're all connected; to Her Majesty the Queen; to each other; to the past, present and future

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